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30 August 2005, 12:08 pm
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ISAF (Source: Björn Unger and Carin Hildebrand). Image: Bengt Julin

It is with great sadness that ISAF reports the passing away of Bengt JULIN on 22 July 2005 aged 93 years old. Born on 22 September 1911, Bengt JULIN was a well known personality in sailing in Sweden and internationally.
He had a true, well respected and sometimes controversial view on most things within sailing, and would regularly read and study newspapers, magazines and other sources of sailing information all the time up until his last day.

Given his energy and position in sailing he brought new boats and dinghies to Sweden and also funded their class organization until they could operate independently. Among the classes that he brought to Sweden were the Optimist, Flying Junior, Flying Dutchman, Contender and the Laser.

Bengt loved dinghies, but a few keelboats caught his attention including the Soling, Tempest and J-24. Beyond supporting the new classes economically he also sponsored many young talented sailors in these classes, among them many young women. He also brought the DN Ice yacht to Sweden.

Internationally, Bengt was involved with ISAF for many years, including being a member of the ISAF Centreboard Boat Committee for twenty-five years. In this role, he always personally test sailed any dinghy applying for international status before the deciding meeting. One action that attracted attention was when he took the initiative that the Soling must have double bottom, before this requirement many Solings sank during hard runs. Paul ELVSTROM's words to Bengt, 'You have saved my life' may have been an exaggeration, but reflected the opinion of many sailors. Bengt was also a member of the ISAF Boardsailing Committee and a founding member of the World Youth Sailing Trust. Bengt presented the Bengt Julin Trophy or Sportsmanship Award to the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship, which is awarded annually to a sailor who has shown exceptional behaviour and rules compliance during the Championship

Bengt was a board member of the Royal Swedish Yacht Club, a judge at the pre-Olympics for the 1972 Games in Kiel, and was then appointed coach for the Swedish team at the 1972 Games. Bengt held the status of an ISAF International Judge during the 1970's, and was Chairman of several International and Swedish class organizations, as well as being a board member of many different international classes. When Bengt turned 90 in 2002, ISAF had its Executive Meeting in Stockholm during which he was honoured by ISAF and the Swedish Sailing Federation honoured Bengt by presenting him with a Gold Medal.

Many of us remember Bengt with many good memories with his burning energy fighting to bring our sport forward. His vision for the future was exceptional and hard to find in many places. He was always ready to share his views and advise young sailors which fuelled their efforts to move forward.

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